[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] The Qur’an is filled with stories. It chronicles the lives of prophets, the stories of believers and non-believers, and lays out the creation of the cosmos. However, the Qur’an’s narrative qualities are often overlooked. Recently, there has been an increasing turn to literary models for approaching scripture by academics. Whitney S. Bodman, Professor of Comparative Religion at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, explores the narrative of Iblīs in his new book, The Poetics of Iblīs: Narrative Theology in the Qur’an (Harvard University Press, 2011). Iblīs was a character who refused to bow to Adam and obey God’s command and has been associated with Satan. Most post-Qur’anic narratives of Iblīs characterize him as the embodiment of evil. However, other texts, especially Sufi literature, describe him as a staunch monotheist who chose to follow the will of God rather than the command of God. In The Poetics of Iblīs, Bodman analyzes each of the seven Qur’anic versions of the his story and explains the characteristics of these renderings through various mythic tropes. Thematic intertexuality, audience knowledge repertoire, and structural composition of Qur’anic chapters all help formulate the meaning of each retelling of the Iblīs story. Through a reader-response approach to the literary text of the Qur’an Bodman concludes that Iblīs ranges from a tragic character to a foil of humanity, with various meanings in between. In our conversation we discuss the theology of Evil in Islam, the relationship between reader and text, the nature of Qur’anic exegesis, and how some modern authors adapt the Iblīs character to comment on contemporary society.